Even though it’s been well over 12 hours since I got home from the Breast Cancer Afternoon Show yesterday, I am still buzzing from the excitement of it all! It was, as always, an emotionally charged event, exciting yet often moving… I have taken many photos and will fill you in a little further down the page!
I do apologise that last week’s blog ended rather like Gardener’s Question Time, but thanks so much for your incredibly helpful advice on the potato fruit, and your suggested names for Lucy’s rose. I have made notes, dosed my plants with Epsom Salts, and will sit back and watch my tomatoes ripen in the last of the autumn sunshine It was also lovely to hear from some new members of Ali’s Army, and to know that we all continue to support each other through some pretty difficult times – bless you
I don’t know about you, but I’m a great list writer, and to be honest if I wasn’t, I doubt I’d ever remember anything that I meant to tell you! The fact that October is going to be sooooo busy, what with the launch of this month’s Jewellery Icon, BCC and my new Seasonal Sound competition, I’m very glad I have written it all down!
So, looking back over the last week, top of the list was mine and Colin’s visit to BBC Radio London to be interviewed in advance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, by the delightful Jo Good. It all went very well, and hopefully highlighted the charity BCC ahead of their Fashion Shows and our fundraiser. I love radio, always have done, but sitting there in the studio reminded of my early days and some of my awful faux pas!
I once introduced a track from Tom Jones’s album ‘Swinging the Lead” but pronounced it ‘lead’ as in dog lead!! Also, reading from my playlist I was very excited to play Rem’s latest single (not R E M)…oh, and INXS wasn’t easy for me either as I heralded their arrival to the world of pop music by calling them ‘Inks’ not In Excess as they were known to their millions of fans! Good job I moved to talk radio eh?
Because we were to be interviewed at Broadcasting House, I went online to see if there were any deals for the theatre or restaurants that evening. I was delighted to find a three fold treat, which included supper at Raymond Blanc’s eatery, The Commitments on stage, and an overnight stay in a fab hotel! It was such a warm evening that we walked by via Trafalgar Square, and I took these photos – good times
I was back in London on Monday getting my hair cut and coloured at Richard Ward, and am delighted with the result. Feeling chuffed, I headed off down the King’s Road in search of The Dress for QVC’s BCC fundraiser, which I’ll be hosting with Craig on the 13th October (6pm – 9pm). I never find it easy making a decision when I’m shopping alone so thanks very much to all those of you who tweeted in with your views. Here are just some of the choices, but it’s a secret as to which one I’ll be wearing on the night – you’ll just have to tune in to see!
Are you watching the Great British Bake off by any chance? I think it’s a corking show, and am always quietly smug as I also own a Kitchen Aid Not that I could ever imagine creating such remarkable pastries as the incredibly talented contestants have presented to us over the weeks. Comedy value a plenty from Mel and Sue, but having shared my own mispronunciations with you, I did have to chuckle over the many and varied ways the word Baklava was pronounced… Best of all though is the delightful Mary’s description of the ‘Lairs’ (layers) in a cake… Here’s to the final!
In fact, talking of pastries and cakes, the fabulous fare we were presented with at the BCC Fashion Show on Wednesday afternoon was right up there with the best of the bakers! I’ve only ever been a guest at the evening Show before, so this was a little different, but the energy, excitement and enthusiasm made the atmosphere electric.
Every one of this year’s 22 models looked amazing, and Hilary Alexander had yet again given each of them a chance to shine So many different themes and unbelievable outfits – some of them from the same designer as my wedding dress! I met many delightful ladies, and shared a table with 10 lucky QVC viewers and their friends, who had won tickets.
Here are Deborah and Jean, both wearing the most fabulous lace dresses – I thought Deborah’s was from Lesley Ebbett’s range WithSleeves, but she politely informed me it was Diana Von Furstenberg! The dress I was wearing was a Montique creation from QVC, and as many of the girls on the catwalk were wearing QVC brands, I was thrilled to see the very same dress on one of the models!
I also bumped into Berenice and Penny, who were both models last year and were with us at QVC for our show. The TV presenter Kirsty Young was marvellous, and highlighted BCC’s specific campaign this year which focuses on what it’s like to live with the hidden effects of breast cancer – all the things most of us rarely talk about…loss of fertility, of femininity, libido, physical changes, pressure on relationships, and of course confidence.
Eva, a beautiful mother of four young children, spoke with heartbreaking honesty about the changes cancer has made to her life, but how Breast Cancer Care have supported her and her family. Having listened and watched, shared and cried, I am even more determined to make QVC’s BCC Fundraiser on the 13th the biggest and best we have ever presented, so PLEASE do join us if you possibly can – we can’t do it without you…
On that note, I have been struggling to know when to tell you this next piece of news, but as Janet asked me about Liz last week, it falls to me to tell you that she lost her battle to cancer at the end of July. I honestly didn’t feel it was my news to share at that time, but am hoping that her family and friends won’t be upset by me letting you know now.
I found the last comment she posted in May, and she wrote as she always has done, with energy, positivity generosity and humour, she even praised me for my Three Peaks Challenge. If I am lucky enough to have half her courage, tenacity and spirit, then my life will be blessed. I know how much she meant to all of us in The Army, and as one of the originals I feel her spirit is very much what this supportive network is based on.
With that in mind, please do keep in mind the BCC show, which is now only 11 days away. On to happier news and, what with it being the start of a new month, I am delighted to present a brand new Jewellery Icon for October, which features a magnificent and stunning stone – Itinga Topaz – and possibly one of the most unusual settings I have seen in quite some time – see what you think…
It is lovely isn’t it? A real showstopper of a ring I think, and if you’d like beautiful nails to complement the ring, then you’ll want to take part in my new Seasonal Sound competition, where you could win this incredible Glitter Collection of nail colours and effects from Leighton Denny. He’s even included his award winning crystal nail file!
Over £80 of value and all I need you to do is to listen very carefully to the sound I have recorded and comment on this post with what you think the sound you’re hearing is (please remember to include an email address so I can get in touch if you’re the lucky winner!)…. Remember the clue is in the question… It’s seasonal, and is NOT something you would be able to to hear at any other time of the year. Think Autumn! Leaves, bonfires, halloween, that kind of thing – I can’t wait to read your suggestions – make them as random as you like, makes it even more fun! See the full terms and conditions.
Well, I think that’s all I have space for this week – oh except for this one photograph…I know, I know, how lucky can a girl get! I bumped into the delightful Allen Leech who, of course, plays Tom (one-time chauffeur who married into the family) one of the lead characters in Downton Abbey!!! Such a charming man, and made what had been a monumental day, perfect
Have a fabulous weekend, do keep in touch, and as I’m off for a couple of days now, I can keep a close eye on those competition entries
With Love Ali xx